50 years of wisdom
The Chopard L.U.C 1963 Platinum Limited Edition was launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Scheufele family owning the prestigious watch and jewellery company. Angus Davies gets ‘hands-on’ with this elegant timepiece.
With the passage of time comes experience. In 1963, the Scheufele family acquired Chopard and have since guided the company to increasing commercial success, producing eye-catching jewellery and some of the finest timepieces in existence.
The watches which bear the three initials of Chopard’s founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, have become a byword for haute horlogerie, fusing technical ingenuity and fine Swiss craftsmanship.
In 2013, Chopard released the L.U.C 1963 Platinum Limited Edition, a fine looking timepiece created to celebrate the first 50 years of Chopard ownership in the hands of the Scheufele family. The styling is imbued with a traditional air that I find most becoming, hence there was no hesitation on my part when presented with the opportunity to try on this rare watch and appraise its classical form.
‘Purity’ is a word which comes to the fore when appraising the aesthetics of the L.U.C 1963 Platinum Limited Edition. There is an elegant refinement to the dial of this watch which effortlessly communicates hours, minutes and seconds with clear diction. Ease of understanding is a given with each element of the dial distilled to the nth degree.
he Dauphine-fusée hour and minute hands have become a key aspect of the L.U.C design language and, in this instance, magnificently collaborate with the Roman numerals and chemin de fer, respectively.
Black and white tones are logical bedfellows and confer a high degree of contrast, often lacking with other colour combinations. The white ‘porcelain-type’ dial has a comely purity, like a young face sans makeup. There is a welcome absence of excessive adornment and distracting detail.
At 9 o’clock, a small running seconds is presented on a printed subdial, overlapping the chemin de fer. Its perimeter is framed with a circlet, marked with neat, black strokes and red Arabic numerals. Each two-digit value is dissected with a tear-shaped index.
The selection of platinum for the case material seems unusual for a 50th anniversary watch, with gold being a more obvious choice. However, whilst Chopard do offer a gold version of this timepiece, I adore the softly spoken charms of the platinum case. The upper surface of the lugs and bezel are highly polished but the caseband is satin-brushed, reinforcing the self-effacing character of the watch.
It is when appraising the minutiae of this watch that pleasing pockets of discovery are experienced. The caseband eschews straight, vertical sides in favour of soft, arcing lines which heighten the visual prowess of the design.
The hand-wound L.U.C 63.01-L is a gorgeous exemplar of fine watchmaking. Large movement bridges, adorned with Côtes de Genève motif, are spaced apart, allowing sight of the gear train. This is a spectacle I find most agreeable.
Polished screw and jewel sinks underscore the sense of sophistication. The gear train wheels are circular grained and a sea of perlage is visible adjacent the balance. The bevelled nickel silver bridges are wonderful to behold.